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Colonialism leaves a peculiar scar. As generations pass and ethnicities merge, the distinction between indigenous and invader becomes increasingly blurred until it is impossible for either side to regard the other without finding something of themselves reflected there. Some 500 years after the arrival of the Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvares Cabral in Porto Seguro, Brazil, Adriana Vareja~o takes a look at the historic clash of cultures in her native land with a new solo exhibition at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art.

Vareja~o’s work is focused and direct, the more recent paintings particularly accessible. Yet she cites an incredibly eclectic collection of inspirations. A partial list, from an interview in a catalog of a recent show, reads: ” . . . a news item in a newspaper, a mirror in Tlacolula, a public restroom in a bus station, a Chinese bird in Sabara, the sound of a guitar, an azulejo [tile] in Queluz, a piece of jerked-beef in the Caruaru market, a sentence from the past, a painting in New York, ex-votos [votive offerings] in Maceio, a red from Madrid, a sento in Kyoto, and more and more . . . ”

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